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Re: Exchange media: DVC-Pro or DV-Cam?

On the 20th of October jpb <aaton.jp at alpes-net.fr> wrote:

>Is there somebody here --with a crystal ball-- who can give us
>an advice about the next standard for mainstream digi-video
>Since the recordable DVD is not yet round the corner, many people
>(as we do) are seeking for a mean term alternative to the U-Matic,
>VHS, S-VHS, BetaSP and DigiBetas NTSC/PAL nightmare when it comes
>to exchange demo, test or problem-showing tapes.
>We had great hopes into DVC-Pro, but the recent introduction
>of DV-Cam is now confusing the issue.

The 'crystal ball' is in hyperdrive with all the confusion over tape
formats!  Sony alone at last count is offering something like 8 different
mostly non compatible tape formats.
For our rentals / post production facility we've primarily decided to go
with DVCPRO for mid range production because of its performance, price and
obvious market advantages over its competition.  I aplogise in advance for
the answer being a little long!

Simply, Sony's DVCam is not a broadcast format - ask Sony. All DVCPRO Gear
is - that's why the broadcasters are all going for it against DVcam and
even Sony's Digital Betacam SX.
DVCam is not accurate on linear editing and does not have a control track
like DVCPRO. Sony's DVCam's track width and record speed is less making it
more susceptable to record problems.
DVCPRO has an extensive product range - DVCam doesn't
DVCPRO cam play DVCam tapes - DVCam cannot play DVCPRO.
There are now over 20,000 DVCPRO units out there in 'broadcast'
environments world wide and the DVCPRO push is growing rapidly.
Broadcasters such as NBC,CBC, Time Warner, China Central TV, the Seven
Network here in Australia. The big list tags this posting.

Marketing and penetration wise DVCPRO has a considerable edge over the Sony
product as it is not exclusive to Panasonic. Philips, Ikegami, AVID and 50
other major manufacturers world wide are in on DVCPRO - not so with Sony's
SX or DVCam. Superbly marketed, the 'SONY only' DIGITAL BETACAM SX could
well turn out to be Sony's biggest blunder since Betamax.

As for DIGITAL BETACAM SX - I looked very closely at this for our Rental
Dept.  At first it looks interesting, but I believe they've made a big
mistake using MPEG2 10:1 compression for origination, because nobody has
yet been able to successfully solve the editing problems with it - and put
it into action.
With DIGITAL BETACAM SX you have to always edit (linearly) on the 'I' frame
because of the compression being spread over a number of frames, (DVCPRO is
intraframe compression, only 5:1, so you can cut anywhere.)
Editors tell me that with SX you cannot even do a cut that is under 15
frames in duration.  The Channel 10 Network here went partly DIGITAL
BETACAM SX and have had all sorts of problems trying to edit it - this is
probably why their parent company CANWEST have now gone DVCPRO for their
other stations.  While the editing problem theoretically goes away in the
non linear world - editors still need the flexibility and speed to use
either nonlinear or linear depending on their job.
Over here, many people have confused DIGITAL BETACAM SX with DIGITAL
BETACAM - thinking quite understandibly, that they would be interchangeable
- unfortunately this is not true as they are totally incompatible with each
other in terms of digital tape interchange.
Even the most basic DVCPRO recorders can replay 3 digital tape formats.

While D1 and D3 are the ultimate in a digital recording, the DIGITAL
BETACAM is an excellent studio recording format but very expensive to buy
and maintain.
JVC's DIGITAL VHS looks good and is priced well but unfortunately seems to
sit in the marketplace as a bit of an orphan. As it cannot handle DV - and
no one else but JVC is into it - who needs another format in the rack?
The new DVCPRO50 series studio recorder is very impressive in that now one
machine can cater for the whole range of DV/DVCAM/DVCPRO product. Not only
is it switchable between 4:1:1 (5:1 compression - DVCPRO) and 4:2:2,(3:1
compression - DVCPRO50) but it is also switchable from NTSC to PAL -
something the DIGIBETA/SX/DVCAM machines cannot do.

While the DVCPRO50 Series machines will be more expensive than standard
DVCPRO machines - they're still considerably less expensive to own and run
than DIGIBETA - and in 50mbits 4:2:2 mode the same quality.
But JPB may be interested in the new little DVCPRO 230 series
recorder/player. It's about the same size as a waveform monitor and lists
for around AUD$8K. It's output and input is composite and YC. Even cheaper
DVCPRO units are on the way too.

BBC News	(UK)		Reuters Television	(UK)
Universal Studio(France)	YLE/TV4			(Finland)
MDR/MCS		(Germany)	ITN			(UK)
Canal Plus	(Spain)		CTV			(Russia)
Radio Bremen	(Germany)	Premiere TV		(Germany)
Shanghai TV	(China)		TAB/TV3			(New Zealand)
NDTV		(India)		TV18			(India)
JTV/Cheung-Ju TV (Korea)   	NBC			(USA)
CBS		(USA)    	Benedek			(USA)
Howard Scripps 	(USA)    	TimeWarner		(USA)
Raycom Media	(USA)		NRK 			(Norway)
TV2		(Norway)	DenmarkRadio		(Denmark)
TV2		(Denmark)	RTR Russia		(Russia)
NTV		(Russia)	SWF			(Germany)
SFB		(Germany)	TV3			(Spain)
TVG		(Spain)		TVE			(Spain)
After Movies	(France)	GranadaTV		(UK)
ScottishTV	(UK)		YorkshireTV		(UK)
AIT		(Nigeria)etc.	China Central TV 	(China)
SDTV		(China)		Nippon TV		(Japan)
Fuji TV		(Japan)		Tokyo Metropolitan TV	(Japan)
ABC		(Japan)		Ehime Asahi TV		(Japan)
CTN		(Taiwan)	ABS-CBN			(Philippines)
IHA		(Turkey)	InterStar TV		(Turkey)
ABC 		(Australia)	THE SEVEN NETWORK 	(Australia)
PRIME TV 	(Australia)	LEMAC 			(Australia)
AAV  		(Australia)	COMPLETE POST 		(Australia)
Chris Young Pd	(Australia)	VIDEO 8 DIGITAL 	(Australia)
Telecom Video	(NZ)		Mercury TV		(NZ) .
CBC 		(Canada)	GlobalTV		(Canada)
ShawCable	(Canada)	CanWest			(Canada)
WIC		(Canada)	Televisa		(Mexico)
TV-Azteca	(Mexico)	Megavision		(Chile)
VNI 		(USA)		Papas Telecast Group	(USA)
C-Span		(USA)		WNET 			(USA)
WKJG 		(USA)		Ellis Comms Group	(USA)
New York News	(USA)		Sinclair		(USA)
Tribune		(USA)		KNTR 			(USA)
WZTV 		(USA)		Ackerley Group		(USA)
FOX 		(USA)		CF Video 		(USA)
Vanguard Prodn 	(USA)

I hope this helps you decide!

Best regards,

John Bowring

John Bowring  jbowring at lemac.com.au
Lemac Film & Video, Australia
Phone +61 3 9429 8588 Fax +61 3 9428 3336

Thanks to Biggi Klier of Munich for support of the TIG in 1997
HDTV discussion thread is at http://www.alegria.com/telecine/hdtv.txt
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